White Papers

openfunds: a global standard for the characterisation of investment funds

During recent years, the volume of data and the required speed of information transmission have increased dramatically across most industries. Although most sectors have adapted to these demands through the adoption of standardised, globally-implemented data protocols, the financial industry has lagged behind. This is particularly true when considering the interchange of complex and often lengthy static data which is used to characterise investment funds. To improve this situation, the openfunds initiative provides an open, extensible and license-free standard that enables the automated transfer and validation of fund data. The goal of the openfunds initiative is to improve the quality, speed and efficiency of the dissemination of fund information globally. Read more…

Fund Names

A fund name serves several purposes depending on the viewpoint of the observer. Besides regulatory aspects the most important functions are marketing and fund identification. Like the fund itself, the fund name can be designed in different ways. This white paper gives advise about the different kinds of fund names and explains the differences of fields that are related to fund names. Read more …

Share Class Lifecycle

This White Paper gives an overview of the various phases that a share class typically passes through during its lifetime. Although the field “OFST020545 Share Class LifeCycle” is primarily a descriptive one, it is suitable for verifying the plausibility of a wide range of other fields. Read more …

Hedging

openfunds now implements field values for currency hedging methods at the share class and fund levels. This new white paper describes the implementation and is relevant for the following fields: OFST010410 Fund Currency, OFST020540 Share Class Currency, OFST010210 Portfolio Currency Hedge, and OFST020262 Share Class NAV Hedge. Read more …

Solvency II Fields

The increased regulatory reporting requirements by the introduction of the Solvency II framework in 2016 had an immediate effect on the investment management industry. Fund managers need to provide high quality holding-level information of their portfolios to insurance companies. BVI in Germany, club AMPERE and The Investment Association in the UK have taken the initiative to develop the Tripartite Template (TPT) to assist fund managers in Solvency II reporting. Read more …

Language Tags

Usually openfunds fields are available in one language only. Most commonly they are in English. As there are few exceptions to this rule, the core of openfunds does not differentiate between different languages used in a specific field, i.e. by assigning different data-IDs to the same field depending on the contents’ language. However, there are fields in openfunds that may exist in multiple languages. Read more …

The Ambiguity of Empty Fields

Fund databases very often contain missing values. When data is exported to a spreadsheet, missing values are represented by empty fields. Missing data can have far-reaching consequences and can prevent investors from investing in a fund. However, even if it does not come to that, empty fields will frequently result in additional work and costs as the reason for the missing data is unclear. Data or values can be missing for four different reasons. Read more …

Version Management

Today, a large amount of static fund data is still sent manually, with version management playing a minor role. However, if fund data is to be kept constantly up to date and transmitted automatically, it is important that the sending and receiving systems are able to understand each another and also that the common language—in this case openfunds—can be developed further. Read more …

Flat Table versus Narrow Table

Today, two different types of tables are used in fund data transmission: the first, referred to here as a “flat table”, features a single row per share class. Country registration information is typically entered in adjacent columns. Without further information, with this format, duplicate naming of share classes would cause a validation error. The second format, referred to in openfunds as “narrow table”, typically displays one and the same share class in several rows. A typical example, again, would be country registration information, with one row per country and ISIN. For openfunds to be able to process both formats automatically, a few conditions need to be met: these are described in detail in this article. Read more …

Field Typology

The various field ranges shown on page 2 of the field lists group the fields according to their properties. The fields may have several different properties, as can be seen in the field description under “field tags”. For example, the field “OFST020000 ISIN” has two field tags: “Codes” and “Key Fact: Share Class”. In addition, there are currently five different types of basic field properties. Read more …

These articles contain background and key information on topics that are directly or indirectly related to openfunds. The information in these articles is not absolutely essential in order to implement openfunds as the conclusions of these articles are included in the field definitions.

However, they contain fundamental rules, which are explained in detail. Articles that contain extra information not included in the fields or that define rules or principles required for optimal data transmission are marked with a star.